Chanda Kochhar controversy: The controversy surrounding ICICI Bank’s former boss Chanda Kochhar and Videocon got murkier with a law firm withdrawing its clean-chit into the matter. ICICI Bank on Tuesday said that law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has withdrawn its report, which had exonerated Chanda Kochhar from the charges of nepotism and conflict of interest in extending loans to now an NPA account — Videocon.
ICICI Bank, under Kochhar’s leadership, was part of the consortium that lent to Videocon Group. The allegation is that Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kocchar and other relatives were involved in a firm floated by Videocon’s promoter Venugopal Dhoot. Now, a probe report by former Supreme Court judge B Srikrishna into the allegations — whether or not Chanda Kochhar violated bank’s code of conduct — is awaited.
All you need to know about Chanda Kochhar-Videocon controversy
- Doot floated a company clean energy firm NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL) in December 2008, which was owned by jointly Deepak Kocchar and relatives.
- A whistleblower alleged that Chanda Kochhar faced a conflict of interest when the ICICI Bank lent Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon as part of the SBI-led 20 bank consortium in 2012. It was alleged that the loan was given to Videocon even as Deepak Kocchar had business ties with Doot.
- After six months of the sanction of the loan, Deepak Kocchar assumed majority control of NRPL.
- In December 2017, Videocon was identified as one of the biggest NPA accounts in the second list of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The company is undergoing insolvency proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
- In April, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) began a preliminary enquiry into the allegations. The investigative agency is probing if Chanda Kochhar informally pushed for sanctioning loans to Videocon as her husband and relatives were understood to have benefited due to the ties with Doot.
- ICICI Bank initially denied allegations and said that it was merely one of the 20-bank consortia that decided to lend Rs 40,000 crore to the company and Chanda Kochhar was only one of the 12 members of the investment committee that sanctioned the loan.
- However, later the bank’s board appointed former SC judge B Srikrishna to examine allegations levelled against Chanda Kochhar.
- In June, ICICI Bank asked Chanda Kochhar to go on leave pending enquiry. The group’s insurance head Sandeep Bakhshi was asked to run the bank as its COO.
- On October 4, Chanda Kochhar stepped down as bank’s CEO and MD.
- Law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas withdrew clean-chit to Chanda Kochhar.